Breast cancer is a public health crisis that has ballooned into a multibillion-dollar industry. Pink imagery, most notably the pink ribbon, is now one of the most widely recognized symbols and marketing tools for breast cancer. The pink ribbon provides many people with a sense of community and has turned breast cancer into a topic of shared conversation rather than a shameful secret. Yet the significant lack of accountability, the absence of transparency, and the widespread hypocrisy in pink ribbon marketing culture exploits a disease that devastates communities, misrepresents who is affected by breast cancer, and excludes and marginalizes diverse lived experiences of the disease.
Our work to end the breast cancer crisis cuts through the pink noise to tell hard truths and challenges “pinkwashing” hypocrisy and pink ribbon culture, which have become the status quo of the breast cancer industry. We address the impact that breast cancer has on our lives and communities, and we work to bring about systemic changes that will end this epidemic.
Pink ribbon marketing culture is most prominent in October, or “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Awareness is a laughably and purposefully limited take–the limitations of which produce real harm. We need more than awareness, we need action. We push back on corporations, mega-nonprofits, government leaders, and regulatory agencies that use pink ribbons and empty awareness to distract from the systemic issues at the core of this crisis. Every October, we run our annual Think Before You Pink® campaign and call out the bad actors, who, while pretending to care about women and breast cancer, continue to spread misinformation, manufacture products that actually increase a person’s risk for breast cancer, work to lower regulatory standards, and much more, all while raising millions to feed their own bottom line.